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Decorated paper applied to walls as a surface covering by means of a paste glue. It could be found in France and England as early as the late 15th century as a cheap alternative to leather hangings, tapestry, or painted cloth. By end of the following century it was in fairly widespread use. The earliest examples (of which none survive) were probably hand-painted, though simple block-printing soon came to be utilized for the printing of repeated patterns. Hand-painted wallpaper was also imported from China in the early 18th century. France took the lead in wallpaper manufacture in the later 18th century, partly in response to the Revolutionary government's belief in wallpaper as an essentially democratic form of domestic decoration, culminating in the great scenic wallpaper developed by Zuber and Dufour in the early 19th century. Around this time, also, various wallpaper-printing machines were first developed which led to the production of relatively cheap rolls of wallpaper which were widely available by the mid-19th century.

Subjects: Art.

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